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Baring It


Because I do so many workout DVDs, sometimes I get a little, ahem, lazy in my fitness attire. Granted, I’ve never gone sans clothes (I’m not that weird), but a time or two I’ve accidentally grapevined in my husband’s dirty boxers, mistaking them for my shorts in the 6 a.m. darkness. And I’d lie if I said I’ve never worn a holey sports bra with a pair of stained gray sweatpants that I’ve owned since college. Sure, I feel better when I sport my new gear, but sometimes the comfort of home becomes too, well, comfortable.

Case in point: my footwear.*

While my clothing choices have been questionable and not suitable for company if someone happened to stop by, it’s got nothing on my feet. See, sometimes when I Zumba or Turbo Jam or lift mundo weights with Cathe, I don’t wear shoes. Part of it is because I’m lazy. I know I should wear shoes for support during cardio and to keep my digits intact when I strength train, but putting socks on and lacing up seems like a hassle sometimes. Okay, when I work out at home it always seems like a hassle. My floor is clean. There aren’t rusty nails or staples around, and, even if there were, I’m updated on my tetanus shot. That’s my rationale anyways.

Despite all this, unless I’m doing yoga or Pilates on a mat, I still have bare feet guilt. That was until I met (or heard) Sara Haley, one of the instructors from the Reebok Global Instructors Team. In a recent webinar I sat in on about Reebok’s new fitness initiative, which is bringing fun back to fitness (FBG is all for that!), she confessed—okay she “said” but, to me, it felt like confessing—that she teaches class barefoot and likes to do some workouts in the foot nude. She’s a trained dancer and choreographer, so she’s used to it and enjoys it. Hallelujah!

Then, just for the hey of it, I googled “working out barefoot,” and found this article, which didn’t really give a solid position about naked feet but had some interesting research on how barefoot walking is better than walking on hard-soled shoes.

What about you? Do you ever work out barefoot at home? Even if you’re not doing yoga or Pilates? Come on … join Sara and me. —Jenn

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  1. Erica says:

    Great post 🙂 If I did more workouts at home, I’d def go bare (foot that is). I’ve had people come into my class and try to workout in their socks or without shoes before though….

  2. tfh says:

    Yes! to working out in whatever comfy clothes I can rustle up (although sometimes halfway through a DVD I’ll think “I really should be wearing a sports bra, or, hell, any kind of bra) and double yes to working out barefoot. We usually take our shoes off at the door (saves me on vacuuming). I feel like working out barefoot can be harder– squats feel harder to me without a heel, and pushups tougher on my soft toes.

  3. MizFit says:


  4. Sagan says:

    I always have bare feet at home. Sometimes slippers or socks if the floor is really cold (although those can make me fall and slip hehe).

    My workout attire is SILLY to no end. Pajamas/half dressed is the norm when I’m exercising at home.

  5. Meg says:

    Guilty! I used to do Tae Bo in the living room barefoot…Of course I’ve been conditioned that Martial Arts must always be practiced barefoot ^_~


  6. Tish says:

    janet jackson danced barefoot in her “all for you” video…if janet can do it then it’s gotta be ok!

  7. Juliet says:

    Your husband’s dirty boxers? Are you sure you want to admit that? 🙂 Does he mind you telling all of us? 🙂

  8. Jenn says:

    So glad I’m not the only one who does this. Erin confessed that she does, too. 😉

    Tish: Your so right! I’m just channeling my inner Janet.

    Juliet: Yea, I did just admit that. He thinks its gross, too. lol. But it’s by accident.

  9. Rob says:

    I’ll readily admit that I’m anything but fit. However I do like to walk and I also really prefer being barefoot, but those 2 are not a very compatible combo.

    But about a year and a half ago, my wife bought me a really cool gift – a pair of Vibram FiveFingers shoes. These funky things are about as close as you can get to going barefoot but still have some protection and support. I love ’em and they’ve held up well to a fair bit of wear. They’re great around water, for walking or mild hiking, just bumming around in the back yard… I’ve even read that some people do marathons in ’em!

  10. Live Well says:

    I too prefer bare feet while strength training at home. It just feels better, I think!

  11. Mixitup says:

    Hi! I agree with Erika about not having to wear shoes! It would be great for me but unfortunately I go out to a pilates class! I have found that the most comfortable thing in my workout gear is my camo camo workout
    workout pants. They are stretchy enough to get the Pilates job done, and if I need to go somewhere afterwords the camo pants have plenty of pockets for whatever I need, easy peesy!! I admire your devotion to doing Pilates at home, I couldn’t do it I am not that disciplined!!

  12. Andrew R - Go Healthy Go Fit says:

    I agree with Rob, the Vibram FiveFingers are the way to go. You will gain much more control by getting as close to barefoot as you can when you train.

    All the Best,

    Andrew R

  13. Lani says:

    as a martial artist I’m almost always barefoot. Unless I’m running, looking for a little extra grip or weight, or the surface is a bad one for my feet I will generally kick off my sneakers. It just feels better to me.

  14. Czouch says:

    What’s the point of getting shoes that make you feel like you are barefoot? Just go barefoot.

    Every other living thing on the Earth can function perfectly well without shoes. We’re supposed to be so advanced, and yet millions of us can’t figure out how to get through a day without putting shoes on?

    Happily, I can, and I’m glad to see that so many others of you out there can as well. Keep spreading the word, and pretty soon bare feet will once again become a normal, accepted thing, and not something that’s looked down upon.

  15. vicki says:

    I used to take a dance workout class that was taught barefoot. I think it’s ok to do it. Not when lifting or in a group class, because I worry about dropping a weight or someone stepping on me. Worry wart that I am.

  16. Teresa says:

    I almost always work out barefoot at home. I only wear shoes on when I’m doing the elliptical. But I’m also barefoot a lot when I’m not working out. I feel more sure footed without shoes. To me wearing shoes is like trying to type wearing gloves: I can’t feel what I’m doing.

  17. I would tend to almost always go barefoot indoors until my feet started hurting during my cardio sessions or my toes started getting roughed up during mountain climbers. But even still if the workout isn’t tough on the feet I’ll tend to still go foot nude 🙂 It feels light and free!

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